Pre Edit Count – 1,953 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Damn Your Eyes by Alex Cross
So the night passes, the world being aware of the change, but the humans and other beings on the planets having no idea that time itself is about to become a string of wibbly-wobbly nonsense, as one wise Time Lord called it.
And the universe will be changed for it.
Two years later, Bella is in Seattle at an exhibit for school. It is an Egyptian one hosted by the O’Connell’s, who are some of the premier archaeologists in the field. The finds that have been accredited to them are among the best preserved in the world.
She is wandering through, feeling that itch in her brain she seems to have all the time. Ever since she gained Hermes, she has had these odd dreams that originally had Edward in them, but they slowly moved to be more of an Egyptian motif. She has no idea what is going on, but she has found that she has been getting interested in the subject to the point she is studying it. The emotions that she has in the dreams are ones that make it easier for her to want to find out more.
Since the day he had helped her get up off that forest floor, Hermes has kept by her side. Even when she leaves him home, locked in the house, he has appeared by her side out of nowhere. One moment he is not there, and then he is walking next to her like he has been doing it since she left, as he is now. Most people ignore him, and when he is not seen by others, he reverts to his normal appearance. An appearance that amazes Bella because of being neither the wolf she first saw nor the dog that most see. No, this form is one that reminds her of those Egyptian statues of the dogs. But he is not that color black.
In fact, he is in his what she calls his “normal” form, sitting by her side as she reads a plaque in front of an exhibit. Looking up at the sarcophagus described on the plaque, she jumps as a reflection on the glass surprises her. She turns around to confront the guy for being so close to her, only to find that no one is there. She looks back, and jumps again as the reflection is still present.
This time she takes in more details. A man, bald-headed and dark-eyed, is staring at her as if she is the answer to everything in his world. She cannot help but feel his pain, and feels the echo of it inside her. The figure fades away, and Bella looks down at the plaque, lost in what just happened.
Having watched her reactions, a curious old man came up to her, asking, “You ok, Miss?”
She turns to him, smiling. She feels Hermes tense, then make a slight sound and her back slowly straightens. Hermes is always a good reference for people. Although he is not growling, the tension means caution is needed. Growling is a bad sign on first impressions. The slight noise he made is a new one, so she will have to wait to see what it means.
As if he could hear Hermes, the man cocks his head to the side, then shakes it. “These old ears can hear the damnedest things. Now, young lady, are you ok?” He looks concerned.
Blinking, since no one normally hears Hermes at first, she nods. “I’m fine. Thought I saw something, but obviously I didn’t.”
The man looks her over carefully, then his eyes narrow, “You remind me of someone.”
Lifting an eyebrow, Bella replies only barely remembering to be polite, “I don’t think I have met you before sir.” It is not a common occurrence for others to mistake her, however she has been wary since Edward leaving. It couldn’t be that easy, for the supernatural world that seemed to be all around her to leave her alone except for Hermes.
The old man chuckles, the sound reminding her of a much younger man. “No, you seem too young for me to remember you the way I do. Too many years out in the sun in the desert. It can do things to you.” He waves his hand in the air dismissing the comment.
With a look on her face as if she is being polite, as she was raised to be, Bella asks, “May I ask who you are?” In reality she is trying to find out more about this old man who sometimes seems to conflict who he is with how old he is. Not something most people would pick up on, but then she has always been observant.
The man smiles, “Rick O’Connell. Nice to meet you. And you are?” He holds his hand out to be shaken.
She smiles shocked, “Bella, Isabella Swan. It’s an honor sir!” This man is the one responsible for so many of these finds!! He and his wife are famous in their line of work, to the point that even some of the outsiders to the field would recognize their work. To be shaking his hand when she is studying this field? Amazing!
He waives her away, looking closer at what had caught the young ladies attention. “Ah. The caretakers must have gotten confused. Jonathan would have made sure that this was fixed. This is not an exhibit that should be public. Though I don’t think there is much harm, I’d rather take some safety precautions.” In reality he is very upset. There are explicit orders about this sarcophagus and others in the collection to never be showed to the public. While some of them are very dangerous, this one is kept as a reminder how much he respected the man who had given everything for love, and not had it returned.
Bella looks confused, as Rick chuckles. “My late wife often had the same look on her face with me. It’s common.” He waves off the look. This young woman had no idea what is going on.
He looks back at the woman in front of him; she had caught his attention when he first saw her walk in. Rick freely admits she would have been one of the few woman he would have chased in his younger days before meeting his wife. With that thought, he hears the growl, and the mark on his arm itches.
His instincts warning him as he has learned to listen to after all this time, Rick looks up, around the room, then back to the coffin that was not supposed to be out in public. Though the Priest fell to his death, there was enough respect for the man that Rick had never wanted to have his resting place for so many years being out for others to view.
Bella is watching the man, however when Hermes growls again, she glances down at the wolf. The wolf’s eyes are glowing, and she glances up when she hears a gasp.
Rick is staring at the wolf by her side that had slowly appeared. A breed he hasn’t seen outside Egypt ever. “Umm, excuse me lady, but are you aware that there is a wolf by your side?” He is also remembering his wife telling him they are the beasts that are thought of being Anubis’ own.
Smiling, but surprised that Rick can see Hermes, she reassures the man. “He has been with me for the last few years, helping me.”
Shaking his head, Rick looks around again, his senses and instincts going crazy. “Would you like to join me for a cup of coffee?”
She smiles, “Be glad to.” With that she and Hermes follow the man, not knowing that this is the start of her new destiny.
They are settled in the back of the museum, near a place that Bella can tell he is working from. He grabs another cup, and pours her a cup as he asks, “Now, I will be blunt. I have seen some fantastical things, and some things that scare the pants off of me. Your wolf there is one of those things I think might lead to the part where I am running scared and fighting. To be honest lady, I am just too old, and so is my son. And I really don’t want to have my grandson mixed up all in this.” He looks at her, not sharing his secret, and hoping she ain’t here for his family.
Taking a sip of her coffee, Bella chuckles. “I have no idea what you are talking about.” She has no idea what this man might have to do with her or Hermes.
He snorts. Grabbing a chair and sitting in it backwards, he suddenly moves much like a younger man, like the younger man she had caught glimpses of off and on today. Then to her surprise and consternation, he starts pulling off his face. The method of the process, it stretching, then peeling off the wrinkles and so forth that had him looking much older, just has her staring at him in complete shock.
As he does this, Rick continues to inform her, “I seem to have a destiny to fight the undead things in life. I have been told it is an honor, but to be truthful, I just don’t care. Since I have lost my wife to old age, something that somehow has skipped past me, I have been thinking I will be cursed to walking alone in this life.” By this time, a much younger man is in front of her. He is rubbing the last of the latex off of him, and looks at her with a face that matches his words as well as the impression Bella has of him.
Seeing her shock, Rick smiles. “I bet I have a story for you. And in return, I expect to have one in return. And with my luck, it will involve the undead and we will be on the brink of the world being cast into damnation if I don’t act on it.” He arches an eyebrow. “So after I am done, why don’t you tell me what you got, and I can see if I can help you.” He settles in the chair, crossing his arms across the back of it.
Bella crosses her legs, watching the man in front of her tell her a fantastical story of how he met his wife and about Imhotep, the man he pities. She is shocked, but believes every word of it. It is no more fantastical than her story of vampires and such. Plus, the story resounds inside of her, as though she had seen this in a dream.
When he ends his story, she begins her own. He listens to her tale, not being able to help the tightening of his grip on his chair as she tells her tale, and how the boy left her in the end. He never wanted to kill the undead more than at that moment. It is obvious to him that the boy knew what would hurt her the most, and used those words to try to destroy her.
Describing the moment she fell to the ground in the forest, Bella explains, “Since that moment, Hermes appeared to me, and he has been by my side since Edward left. Since then, well since Edward has been around, I can’t seem to get rid of the supernatural. Or what you call the undead. I see places that are not real, I dream of a life I never led.” She looks down, her hair falling to hide her face, as she pets Hermes.
He frowns, as he runs his hand through his hair, thinking. Turning to the table next to him filled with paper all over the place, he shifts through it to find an old journal in his pile. With the intuition from all his years of dealing with this shit, he thumbs through the book. Finding what he is looking for, opens a page and shows her.
She grabs the book. “That is him. He is in all my dreams. Who is he?” She is looking at the book, taking in the sketch in the pages of a man who she had seen in her dreams, and recently in the glass in the museum.
Rick shakes his head, “Someone I hoped to be at rest, who deserves to be at rest.” He sighs, hoping that maybe this will end better for him.
Later on that night, he leads her to the hotel he is staying in, ordering up dinner to continue the talk they have been having. “So Imhotep fell to his death, because the woman he loved, didn’t care to save him. Thankfully, she died too. But he deserved so much more. He sacrificed everything for her, and nothing came of it.” The sadness and pity her felt for his foe, was very evident not only on his face, but in his voice also.
Bella is sitting cross legged on his bed. “And here you remain the same age after your battle with the mummy in China.” Her finger was tapping her lips as she thinks through it all.
He nods, answering the door and tipping the man. “I learned to look older, and then reinvent myself as my son many a time. Alex has told his grandsons the truth, and we all keep the secret in the family. See while Li gave up her immortality, it still is in her genes, and it seems her children carry more of a longevity than the rest of us. Jonathan gave a good run, but some drunken idiot killed him. So I have no doubt that we can die, but Li is set on the belief that I am going to be around forever. And to be honest Bella, that is just too damned long. Seems the only man who could have helped me with this curse or blessing, is the man I watched fall to his death.” He sighs. He wouldn’t mind living forever if Evie was at his side. Jonathan would be good, but he would give anything for Evie.
Bella looks down at Hermes at her feet and finally asks, “What does this all have to do with me?” She is humbled, but haunted. Why is she having these dreams? Why does all the weird stuff happen to her?
Rick looks up at her as he hands her a plate of food, “You tell me. You are here with Anubis’ beast, you dream of Imhotep, and you see him in the glass in front of the tomb they imprisoned him in. Truthfully I have no idea what is going on, but it seems centered on you.” He shrugs, accepting the world that he and she live in. One that most individuals would think a book or a movie.
Rick throws a meaty bone to Hermes. He catches it and starts gnawing on it, watching his charge. She needs this meeting, and as much as he hates the fact that he can sense that the man, Rick, has some affection for her that he is not liking, she needs the man. He sighs, trusting his Master knows what is going on.
While eating her chicken, Bella thinks over the past few years and what all it can mean. She realizes there is one constant and shares her revelation with Rick. “Often when I have dreams, I am told by an unknown voice that this is wrong. It seems that the consensus is the past is wrong; not just my past, but that of another life. But I have no idea how it is wrong. What part of everything that happened was so wrong?” It makes no sense!
Looking up from his plate, Rick answers her. “If you ask me, it was when Imhotep died the second time. Or if we really want to go back, it was when he fell in love with the woman who didn’t love him as much as he did her. He deserved someone like you. When a man loves someone that much, to suffer all he did, it means so much more. So maybe Anubis is deciding to reward his most faithful follower.” Thinking of how loyal Bella had been to this Edward, and to have it wasted, it seemed Imhotep and Bella are perfect for each other; knowing the pain of being used, not being loved as they loved another.
Bella just stares at him, aghast at the idea. “Are you saying I am some reward for some thousands year old priest?” That everything she had went through was because of this? Was her life the way it is to mold her for this man?
He snarks back at her, “You saying you deserve a weak-willed vampire boy who can’t even kiss you as you deserve? There is a time and place for everything. But I cannot seem to think this world has gone to hell in such a short time. All the mysteries are gone; all the wonders are stale. And it is not just that I have lived too long. There is no Shangri La; no oasis in the desert. Even Hamunaptra is gone. There is nothing to wonder at. This seems such a sad world.” He leans back in his chair, the fire fading that had just surfaced. He has lived too long.
Bella stares at him, and thinks of the life he has led, the stories rich in magic and wonder. Terror too, but there had been things that had awed him he told her when he thinks back on it all. She slowly nods. Then can’t help but quip at him, “And to have sparkly vampires? I really want to know how that came about.”
He laughs. “Exactly. To be truthful, I think we need to head back to where it all started, and see what we can find. Luckily, for us, to begin, all we need is a trip to England. Which we need to do to take the sarcophagus back. I have way too much respect for the man to have people gawking at him like this.” He is still angry about that.
She smiles. “Who would think a harmless look at some Egyptian remains would result on a journey like this?” Bella just shakes her head. These type of things don’t happen anymore.
Rick shudders, “Never say that to me, lady. Seems way too many of my adventures start out like this.” Flashbacks occur of all the times that a simple ‘go look and see’ started things. Starting with the first one to Hamunaptra.
Final Count: 3,166 words